Connected educator. Leader. Learner. Colleague of my students.
My life as an educator has changed dramatically over the past two years. One of the ways can be illustrated in my experience with ITEC, which is Iowa Technology and Education Connection, a conference held each October.
2010 – Brenda and Mary went to ITEC and came back telling me all the exciting things they had learned about connectedness, Twitter, blogging, and more. “What’s ITEC?” I asked. They explained.
2011 – The next year, I was anxious to go myself to learn more about this new connected educator I was becoming. I wrote about Day 1 and, several months later, Day 2.
2012 – This year, I went back to ITEC, excited to learn more, but I also decided to contribute. I signed up to lead a session about genius hour, where students are given time and autonomy to learn, create, and produce something meaningful to them.
I suppose it was because of my interests, but each session I attended (except “Bringing History to Life Workshop” by Karen Lampe) included some reference to genius hour learning.
- “BCLUW – Year 4 of 1:1 Implementation: The Transformation in Culture and Curriculum” by Shaelynn Farnsworth and others from BCLUW (Beaman-Conrad-Liscomb-Union-Whitten).
- “Creativity in the Classroom: How to Collect Evidence of Learning TODAY” by Marco Torres
- “Students as Leaders in Their Own Learning” by Shaelynn Farnsworth (She does genius time with high school.)
- And mine…”Genius Hour: Productive, Creative, and Empowered Students” (click below to see slides)
I went to ITEC for just one day this year because I had committed to present on Tuesday at Northwest Iowa Reading Council on being a connected educator. (Remind me not to present two days in a row again–for a while, at least!)
I am thankful for the professional development opportunities that my school gives me, like the chance to go to ITEC and other conferences.
It’s hard to explain, but ITEC and other PD experiences have helped make me more connected and a willing leader, given me a renewed love for learning, and led me to develop a collegial partnership of learning with my students.
I am profoundly grateful for the journey I’m on!